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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  February 13, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm PST

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norway and finland, canada and austria. for the entire crew behind the scenes, i'm kathryn tappen. so long from sochi. hi, i'm richard lui in for tamron hall. the news nation is following developing news for you this hour. first off a deadly winter storm has brought much of the south and northeast to a standstill leaving nearly 500,000 customers without power. the storm has dumped up to two feet of snow in some places, making streets virtually impassable. over 6,000 flights have been cancelled nationwide. the snow has turned to cold rain in many places in washington, d.c., where federal offices are closed today. some d.c. suburbs are reporting as much as 15 inches on the ground with more to come later tonight. in new york city, 1900 plows
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working throughout the morning just trying to keep up with the heavy snow. big flakes there. this winter storm has left much of augusta, georgia, in the dark as well, from louisiana to new jersey nearly half a million homes and businesses do not have power. most are in georgia and south carolina. 17 deaths have been blamed on the storm so far. most of those due to traffic accidents and icy roads throughout the south. the storm also wreaking havoc on air travel. more than 6,000 flights cancelled today and 4,000 delayed. some airlines are already cancelling flights for tomorrow, piling up the misery for many, many travelers. chris palone is 26 miles outside of philadelphia, pennsylvania. chris, as we look at what's behind you today, it looks like you have a little bit of a break there. >> reporter: yeah, richard. actually we got about 10 inches of snow overnight. it came down very hard and fast at times, whiteout conditions, but around 9:00 or 10:00 this morning, the temperature actually climbed above that freezing mark.
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we had heavy rain for much of the morning and right now it's just a heavy mist, maybe just fog at this point. but of course what we're heading towards is another big problem coming in tonight, as the temperature drops again, all of this muck, all of this heavy, wet snow will freeze. the roads will refreeze and they're expecting snowfall to start back up again as the storm kind of winds back around and the winds shift from off the coast to coming off the land. they say that this area could get another 7, 8, 9, maybe 10 inches of snow depending on how that banding comes through as the temperatures continue to drop tonight. so they're certainly not out of the woods here yet and it certainly is a mess. could get even worse as the day goes on. >> chris, as you were looking at the problems that you just described, how are they handling what is going to be coming over in the next 10 or 12 hours you described? >> reporter: well, the lucky thing is that this area is used to snow so they're adequately prepared, unlike some places in
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the south as you've seen over the last couple of weeks. so they're handling it the best they can. of course a lot of areas are actually having trouble getting salt and sand for the roads into various areas, so various municipalities are dealing with that, trying to shift the pieces around to try and get salt and sand into the areas that need it. right now they're using this time to clean up. we've seen several plows go by on this rural road that we're in but they're handling it as well as they can. but there are points where when this snow starts to come back, if it was anything like it was last night, they just completely get overwhelmed as it piles up a couple three inches an hour. >> enjoy that little bit of a break there. chris palone for us in phoenixville, pennsylvania. we'll take it to the south now, lisa janic joins us by phone. wednesday, the big day for you there. tell me about power and road conditions right now. >> good afternoon, richard. i have good news here in georgia. we seem to be moving in a good direction. all of our primary roads are
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clearing and crews from the georgia department of transportation are beginning to address interchanges and major secondary routes within the city of atlanta. that's our greatest need right now. but things are really starting to melt like crazy and the winds are helping to dry the roads so that's good news for us. >> lisa, i lived in georgia for a while and the concern right now might be black ice. but you're telling us it's warm enough to be melting away the stuff? >> it is warm enough and the winds are helping to dry the roads but you're exactly right. we can't let down our guard, there is that concern for black ice, it will refreeze overnight so that is still definitely a possibility. we're continuing to strongly recommend that motorists limit their travel until the georgia department of transportation has had the opportunity to get out and get most of that plowing done and remove some of that slush from the roads. >> lisa, what worked better this time around for you? >> we had a great early warning system. we kind of used every mechanism at our disposal, so we sent out
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a special emergency alert system to cell phones notifying people about the winter storm warning. we sent out twitter alert messages. we even pushed out a message on our ready georgia app. hitting that message hard and motorists listened. they actually stayed home and we want to thank the public for that because that allowed emergency personnel to do their job. >> so there were fewerer anecdotes of those seven-hour commutes trying to get from one place to another. >> exactly. people really heeded the call to stay home and that has enabled the emergency workers to do their jobs and they're still staying home and letting them get this plowing done and helping to clear the roads. >> lisa, great news. thank you for filling us in from the georgia emergency management agency, talking about what's happening there in that state and some better news this time around. joining us now with a look at the forecast is the weather channel meteorologist paul goodloe. well, paul, i'm looking at your reporting so far today and it was pretty much what you expected for the most part, would you say? >> definitely. we thought about the ice and
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sleet and rain across the south. also plenty of snow as well. we're still seeing snow across areas of the southeast, but the mid-atlantic a bull's-eye just west of d.c. some areas 1 to 2 feet of snow. the bad news is we're not done yet. we're still seeing more snow here, 3 to 5 more inches across virginia and north carolina. that also has to push through d.c. and new york we're not quite done with it. new england, we are just getting started, although it's warmer in towards the boston area, out towards the cape and the islands. but raleigh still seeing snow at a fair clip. heading into central virginia, d.c., baltimore, philly will all see more snow later tonight. western and central p.a. seeing plenty of snow. new york city we had snow earlier and it changed over to rain, especially towards eastern long island. there we are with the cape and the islands all rain right now. boston still seeing snow. we could see sizeable snow just to the west of boston. the forecast still has a rain/snow mix, the i-95 corridor. later tonight and tomorrow morning we'll see it all change to snow as the colder air comes
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on through, but maine will still see snow well into your valentine's day evening across the area. and once this storm is through, guess what, we have another quick-hitting system coming on through here to give us more snow as he head late into saturday and saturday night. overall from the same system, we can still see through tomorrow morning many areas just outside of new york city seeing 8 to 12 inches of snow. richard. >> you had to mention valentine's day, didn't you? had to do that. >> hey, it's a good day to stay inside and stay warm with somebody. >> one of the concerns that we have is ice as it develops. jim cantore yesterday talking about it was ice, ice baby. that was the concern over much of the south. are we going to see the temperatures that will alleviate some of those concerns, because of power and power outages and trees falling on the lines? >> they still have to get through tonight and the beginning of friday morning but as we look at the extended forecast, even into next week, much of the south, they'll be well into the mid, maybe even
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upper 60s. so unfortunately if it takes a week to get your power back on, it should be warmer next week but you've got to go through another very cold one to two more days here across the southeast. >> paul goodloe from the weather channel. thank you so much, my friend. >> sure. still ahead, verdict watch in the murder trial against the florida man accused of shooting and killing an unarmed teenager during a dispute over loud music. >> he's in good spirits, he's holding up. i can tell you from day one his attitude has been we have the truth, we have the law, he'll prevail and now it's in the jury's hand and i have to respect that. plus new information on nsa leaker edward snowden. more on the new memo contradicting snowden's past claims about how he was able to access tens of thousands of classified u.s. documents. but first, big news from facebook today. the social media giant is adding new customizable options for gender beyond just male and female. there will now be about 50 different terms users can select to identify themselves, those
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for just $29.99 a month. with limited availability in select markets. ♪ jurors are now in their second day of dleliberations in the trial of michael dunn, the man accused of shooting a teen na arnl in a dispute over loud music. last hour court was reconvened after jurors had a question about a prop used during testimony. earlier they requested to see this security individual joe from inside the convenience store that night 17-year-old jordan davis was killed. jurors got the case wednesday after hearing over five hours of closing arguments from both sides. >> to the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe the truth. >> there is only one lawful,
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just and righteous verdict, and that verdict is not guilty. >> dunn is charged with first-degree murder in davis' death. he maintains that the shooting was in self-defense. kerry sanders is in jacksonville, florida, and joins us live right now. kerry, what can we make of those requests by the jury? >> reporter: well, it's not uncommon for the jurors to request pieces of evidence so that they can examine them back there in the jury room. remember, they have sat inside a jury box and seen this stuff presented to them. but to actually reach out and touch it is something different. in this particular case they have requested the mannequin, which was presented, a mannequin which was supposed to be the suggestion of what the victim's body looked like. and the medical examiner had taken dowels, pieces of wood, and shown the industry locations of where those bullet wounds had been that entered his body. so the jurors wanted to take that back there along with those
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dowels and look at that close up themselves. but the judge ruled in this particular case while it was presented for demonstration purposes, indeed it wasn't actual evidence and they only can lay their hands on evidence. so while they can ask for and have asked for the videos, and those are the security videotapes that they can look at, they can look at those repeatedly, in this particular case the judge said this is not evidence so, no, what you saw is what you're going to have to work with off of your memory. now, it's somewhat unusual, but as the jury is out, the defense attorney, cory stchltrolla held news conference. he said during the trial there was a lot going on and he couldn't share what he thought and what his client thought. among the questions that he answered as the media gathered there with the jury only across the aisle, as it were, well out of ear distance, but as they were deliberating, asked the questions of how is your client, the accused, michael dunn, handling this right now. this is what he had to say.
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>> this is the hard part. it's the hard part for anybody. it's out of our hands. there's nothing we can do. you know, that's why i explained to the jury, once i sit down, i'm going to have a million more things to say to you. i'll be able to rebut what mr. guy says but we can't. i can tell you from day one his attitude has been we have the truth, we have the law, he'll prevail. >> reporter: he is charged, as you know, with first-degree murder. now, defense attorney cory strolla says that he believes that the prosecutor here, angela corey, has overcharged in this case charging him with first-degree murder. and he said that while it's speculation on his part, he says it's somewhat human to think that angela corey has come at this case with a fair amount of aggressive charging and an aggressive case because it was angela corey who brought the charges in the george zimmerman case. that was the case in florida where george zimmerman was accused of shooting a young,
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unarmed black man and the jury acquitted him. so the defense attorney says it would not be beyond human nature for her to feel that she needs to win this case. don't forget, of course, in the state of florida, prosecutors are elected. so there may be a little tinge of political pressure, he says, in a case like this. richard. >> kerry, talk about how the community is reacting now that we're in the verdict phase. we have, again, a black teenager that was killed. we have michael dunn, who is white. how are they reacting now that we're in the verdict stage? >> reporter: well, it's no short sense to say that people here are waiting on edge to see what's going to happen. not as if they think there's going to be some sort of violent reaction, but that there are people watching this very closely because they want the sense that there is justice here. here is a 17-year-old boy inside a car, by all indications every piece of evidence presented in this case there was never a gun, there was no evidence of a
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weapon ever pointed. the only person who ever said that he saw one was that of the accused here, michael dunn. and so he unloaded a pistol, ten shots into a car, several of which actually hit the victim here and killed him. and so the community is wanting to know, you know, is there in their sense sort of an unarmed -- i mean an open season on just if you feel threatened, you can take a gun and shoot, even at a car where, again, the police found no weapon and no evidence of a weapon. there have been some protesters outside. they have been out here for some time. but more i would say people are just watching it very closely through the internet, through twitter and of course right here on cable television to see if they can determine what the jury verdict is going to be and if it sits well with their perspective of what they think they know about this case, richard. >> kerry, thank you so much. nbc's kerry sanders with the very latest from jacksonville, florida.
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take you now to an accident on the bobsled run that leaves an olympic worker injured. that tops our look at stories around the news nation. the worker was on the track near the finish line when he was hit and tossed in the air by a bobsled. bobsleds can reach speeds of 80 to 90 miles an hour commonly. the accident happened just before the start of two-man bobsled practice runs. the worker suffered two broken legs and a possible concussion. two other workers managed to scramble out of the way. they are still trying to determine exactly how all that happened. authorities say two people were injured when a major natural gas pipeline exploded in flames overnight in a town 90 miles south of louisville. at least two homes were destroyed and about 20 other homes were evacuated in the middle of the stormy night. officials said it's a tough day to lose the giant 30-inch pipeline that carries natural gas from the gulf of mexico to the northeast and midwest. general motors is recalling about 800,000 compact cars because the engines can shut down unexpectedly and perhaps
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cause crashes. the company says six people have been killed in crashes related to that problem. the recall affects 2005 to 2007 chevy cobalts and 2007 pontiac g-5s. a big new development in the edward snowden controversy to tell you b a civilian nsa employee recently resigned after being stripped of his security clearance for allowing snowden to use his personal log-in credentials to access classified information. michael isikoff broke the story. snowden was able to gain access to massive volumes of classified documents that he later leaked to the news media. still ahead for you, this winter storm, we're tracking it, keeping dozens of house democrats away from their annual strategy session ahead of the midterms. first a look at what's happening outside for you. on the left a live look from the top of the rock here in new york city. a little bit of haze there, right? on the right, new video just coming in from washington, d.c. folks playing, along with their
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well, the winter storm battering the eastern seaboard taking a bit of a toll on the annual retreat by house democrats being held on the shore. vice president biden had to cancel plans to address the gathering today. about 125 house democrats are snowed in with nancy pelosi and other leaders. they're there to discuss their agenda and plot strategy ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. president obama still scheduled to meet with them tomorrow morning before he heads to california. luke russert joins us live now from snowy cambridge, maryland, where republicans gathered a few weeks ago. i was looking through what some of the sessions were going to be on, luke. developing a winning message, the minimum wage, why we fight, how we win. what's happening, what are you seeing? >> reporter: basically they're trying to figure out what they think would be the message that most resonates with the voters
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ahead of the 2014 midterms. basically what they have come up with, the dccc who's meeting with individual members here is the idea of who's side are you on? democrats want to trumpet up the idea of the middle class, protecting the middle class. they want to talk about income inequality, talk about being for a minimum wage hike, extending unemployment benefits, to really try and show the divisions within class that have really become worse over the last few years and try to get on top of that issue. interestingly enough, we found out today from chairman israel that president obama, who you mentioned will speak here tomorrow, is going to do six fund-raisers for house democrats. that's a lot of money. the president is a prolific fund-raiser along with nancy pelosi. he'll be on the trail as much as they want him to be. there's some districts where it would be helpful. one thing that's universally helpful is money he does bring in. as far as the likelihood of democrats taking back the house, they face a real uphill battle. they would need to win 17 seats.
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they're pointing to the fact that there is 11 republican retirements and open seats. they feel they could be competitive within but the way in fact redistricting occurred over 2010 and the fact that it's a midterm electoraion and the electorate will be older and whiter, points to republicans having an easier time. >> well, to that point there, luke, one of the major things that came out from at least the republican retreat was that one-pager that you remember which was a structure on immigration reform. since you allude to that, do you expect something like that to be addressed by this conference when they are done with it? >> reporter: absolutely. i think immigration will be a center of the democrats attack plan against republicans in the 2014 midterms. and one thing that they have to their advantage, richard, is they as a party don't have to do that much, because there's so many outside interest groups in favor of immigration reform that have really held back their
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ammunition hoping there could be a bipartisan compromise. because there hasn'tbeen, those groups will go to the forefront allowing democrats to hold some of their money back and play up the income inequality but also trumpet the immigration reform measures they support. >> luke russert, thank you so much. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm richard lui in for tamron hall. "the cycle" is up next. good job! still running in the morning? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ]
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we begin with a weather alert because today we are all in the storm cycle. gasp, i'm abby huntsman along with toure and krystal here in new york. ari is down in the nation's capital braving the elements outside our studios there. let's just say, ari, you were asking for it when you tweeted this out this morning. you say and at least my cspan appearance is not a stand-up outside. you were very much asking for it. how goes it down in d.c.? >> well, i did tweet that and i
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did do washington journal c-span from the comfort indoors of the studio at the corner but now i am outside and thanks to "the cycle" team for asking me to do this as a weather hit. i did have some meetings on the hill today. i was in the senate and house side. and it was a ghost town. there was almost nobody there except for a few security staff and a couple of legislative staffers and a couple of offices. d.c. is definitely shut down, which might be good news to some people who don't think d.c. gets that much done anyway. let me give you some weather stats, cyclists. it's about 8.5 inches of snow here. >> do you have a ruler, ari, for that? >> i don't have a ruler but what we have now is more akin to freezing rain. it's not a technical rain but that's what it feels like coming in sideways to my face. >> it is a technical term actually, ari. >> i'm being told by control room it is a technical term. it's water and close to freezing cold. >> you're doing a great job,